Today’s e-commerce environment is highly competitive. And with giants like Amazon and eBay playing in the same sandbox, it’s difficult for small businesses to get started and carve out a market of loyal customers. So how do you stand out from the crowd while also driving conversions? Create an authentic brand and find as many opportunities to build upon your story throughout the conversion funnel.
Consumers gravitate towards successful brands because they are often buying into more than just a product, they are buying into the brand’s vision and promise. In the digital environment, authenticity is an essential component of any effective brand. Here are some ways that you can use your brand to help increase average order size in an authentic way.
In addition to the basic best practices for product visualization (high quality images, 360O views, zoom function), e-commerce companies can use videos that showcase the product’s features and how it’s used as a way to build trust and authenticity. Companies like Patagonia and Zappos use videos made by their staff, who also happen to be devoted enthusiasts about their products. If videos are a little bit beyond your budget, photos that showcase the product in use either taken by your staff or submitted by your existing customers will help create a more personal feel for your brand, while also helping to demonstrate the quality of the product.
In addition to providing key information about product attributes, sizing, and care instructions, product descriptions offer another opportunity to create a compelling story for each product that ties directly back to your overall brand vision. Product descriptions are also a great way to create some personality or humor for your brand, as you can see in this example from Woot!
User-generated product reviews are one of the best ways to establish a trustworthy brand. Reviews provide unbiased information about the quality and experience of products, and they show that your company is open to feedback and dialog with its customers. Reviews also help answer common questions. Requests for product reviews should be included in all order confirmation emails. In addition to gathering reviews, your survey can collect information about how the customer found out about your website, their overall experience, and any other feedback they might have to help your business improve. Reviews should be presented on product detail pages in a simple and easy to understand 5 star rating system along with written responses.
Customer Loyalty Programs
Loyal, repeat customers are important to growing an e-commerce business because they don’t require additional marketing spend to acquire and they often spend more on each purchase than first time buyers. In addition to providing high-quality products and great customer service, you can help build a relationship with your best customers by creating referral and customer loyalty programs.
Dual-incentive referral programs where both your current customer and your newly acquired customer are offered some type of incentive (store credit, discount, free product, etc.) are a great way to engage and reward your current customers while also acquiring new, more qualified customers at a fixed cost per acquisition.
Customer loyalty programs that offer special perks like free shipping and exclusive discounts or products to your most valuable customers are a great way to not only establish brand loyalty, but also encourage higher spending among your best customers. With a customer loyalty program, you can also ask for feedback and insights from your top spenders in exchange for extra discounts as a way to generate customer insights and identify new opportunities to improve your service and marketing.